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Derrick Crozier handles a 36 3/4-pound blue catfish caught at Perry Reservoir last weekend. Fish twice as big aren't uncommon at the lake any more.
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Michael Pearce / The Wichita Eagle
A boat sits anchored for blue catfish.
Derrick Crozier with the special hook rig he uses for blue catfish.
Derrick Crozier makes a long cast with heavy equipment for blue catfish.
Guide Derrick Crozier, left and his partner, Merylyn Johnson.
Meryln Johnson, of Walton, hefts a 36 3/4-pound blue catfish caught from Milford last weekend.
Derrick Crozier, of Olathe, waits for blue catfish to bite at Millford Reservoir.
A small fleet of blue cat fishermen ready to take advantage of Milford's trophy fish population.
Most serious blue cat fishermen carry digital scales in their boat, so big fish can be weighed and released.
Blue catfish now have tournament trails and specialized equipment.
A pelican flies over Perry Reservoir.
A flock of pelicans in the shallows, where blue catfish were also feeding.
Derrick Crozier throws a cast net to capture shad, the top bait for blue catfish.
A 30-plus pound blue catfish that fell for a palm-sized chunk of fresh shad.
A pelican in the early morning light at Perry Reservoir.
Derrick Crozier nets a blue catfish that weighed more than 36 pounds.
A pelican in the early morning light at Milford Reservoir.
Derrick Crozier weighs an 11-pound blue catfish at Perry Reservoir. An unofficial rule among blue cat anglers is that all over 10 pounds are released.
The rise in popularity of fishing for blue catfish has lead to more products for anglers, including a spray that can be put on baits.
Paddlers enjoy an early morning paddle, before afternoon winds at Milford Reservoir.
Fishing/guiding partners Merylyn Johnson, left, and Derrick Crozier wait for blue catfish to bite.
A three pound blue catfish, destined for the table. The meet is white, flaky and good flavored if handled properly.
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Derrick Crozier weighs an 15-pound blue catfish at Perry Reservoir. An unofficial rule among blue cat anglers is that all over 10 pounds are released.
Cut or whole fresh shad is generally the bait of choice.
Derrick Crozier holds a 15-pound blue catfish at Perry Reservoir. An unofficial rule among blue cat anglers is that all over 10 pounds are released.
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